Spotlight

Hawk's Eye golf course - no. 2

Bellaire Sixpack: A half dozen courses make this a coveted northern Michigan golf destination

There isn't much to this tiny village in northern Michigan, some 45 minutes northeast of Traverse City. Golf, however, is plentiful in these parts. Six courses -- including three of the best in the state -- huddle within a few miles of one another.
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University of Michigan Golf Course - 6th

University of Michigan course in Ann Arbor showcases classic Alister MacKenzie golf

The University of Michigan Golf Course is one of the best college courses in the country. Built in 1931 and designed by none other than Alister MacKenzie, a renovation was completed in 1994 by U-M alum Arthur Hills. It's open to university students, staff and faculty, but the public can play this limited daily-fee golf course. Find out how.
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Forest Dunes Golf Club - hole 8

It doesn't get any better than Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon

Forest Dunes Golf Club wows players with top service, a massive Adirondack-style golf clubhouse, greens as good as any in the country and a course ranked no. 23 among the "Top 100 Public Golf Courses" by Golf Digest. The name implies all golfers need to know about the routing. Tom Weiskopf masterfully found corridors through the trees on the front nine, while the back meanders through more open meadows and sandy waste areas.
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Michigan Golf Destinations

  • Northeast Michigan

    While Michigan's northwest may be the more nationally known vacation region, the northeast part of the state boasts a collection of small towns and natural wonders worth exploring, too, including one of the Midwest's top golf destinations, Gaylord.

    Marsh Ridge G.C. sprawls across rolling hills and acres of carefully preserved marshlands. The towering trees and dramatic elevation changes distinguish the golf course as one of the area's best and most scenic.
    Since opening in 1994, Loon Golf Club has become one of the most popular golf courses in the Gaylord area. The Loon Course features fast, undulating greens and narrow fairways surrounded by numerous strategically placed bunkers.
    The Lakes Golf Course offers a unique layout that offers six links holes, six holes that wind through forests and across ski slopes, and six that play along Lake Michaywe. The course offers unrivaled scenery and memorable views.
  • Southwest Michigan

    Along Lake Michigan's coastline in the southwest corner of the state, a succession of small beach towns provide a quick escape from the city life of Detroit and Chicago. Value golf courses are a constant theme in Michigan, and the southwest corner is no exception.

    Whittaker Woods Golf Club is located in southwest Michigan but being only 90 minutes from downtown Chicago and just steps from the Indiana state line, it's very much a part of the Chicagoland golf scene. The course is a formidable test for even the best players, weaving through a diverse landscape of mature woodlands, ponds, and wetlands.
    Wallinwood Springs Golf Club is bordered by the scenic Grand River on its eastern side. The challenging layout boasts an island green, an island tee, and a peninsula fairway. The golf course has two distinctly different nines, beginning with an open Scottish-links layout before moving onto the back nine, which is enclosed by mature trees.
    Ravines Golf Club is southwest Michigan's first Arnold Palmer signature course. The course is situated three hours outside of Detroit in Saugatuck. Thanks to wide fairways and generous landing areas, the layout is not as tough as it seems but it does have plenty of challenges in store.
  • Upper Peninsula

    Wilderness is the big attraction in the Upper Peninsula. Hunting, fishing, hiking and boating are favorite pastimes of all "Yoopers." The summer golf season may be cruelly short, usually just June through September, but there are some real standout golf courses for those who make the trek.

    The 18-hole Wild Bluff Golf Course in Brimley, MI is a public golf course that opened in 1998. Designed by Mike Husby, Wild Bluff Golf Course measures 7056 yards from the longest tees. The course features 5 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    The 18-hole Gladstone Golf Course in Gladstone, MI is a public golf course that opened in 1936. Designed by A. H. Jolly, Gladstone Golf Course measures 6456 yards from the longest tees. The course features 3 sets of tees for different skill levels.
    Newberry Country Club is located in the Upper Peninsula just 45 minutes north of the Mackinaw Bridge. Opened in 1922, the golf course has long been northern Michigan's premier play. The layout underwent a major redesign in 2013 that added new bunkers, tee boxes, fairways and approach cuts. In addition to the strategically placed bunkers and mature trees, water also comes into play on a few holes in the form of ponds and streams and the gently rolling terrain provides a few tricky lies.
  • Southeast Michigan

    The majority of Michigan's population and golf courses are based in and around metro Detroit in the state's southeast corner. They love their sports in Detroit, and they especially enjoy golf in the Motor City. While there are plenty of exclusive clubs for the auto industry elite, a smattering of daily-fee courses make the game affordable and accessible for everyone.

    Brae Burn Golf Club in Plymouth has a traditional layout with a landscape that ranges from gently rolling to wildly undulating. On most holes, elevated tees play to elevated greens. The large, undulating greens usually slope back to front. Golfers will encounter water on 15 holes and the fairways are lined with mature trees.
    Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown sits along the shoreline of its namesake lake. The location is a popular bird-watching spot with more than 300 species recorded. Golfers might catch a glimpse of a bald eagle and broad-wing hawk sightings are almost definite since the area is one of the best hawk-watching sites in North America.
    Situated just north of Detroit, Richmond Forest Golf Course has a secluded setting among forests, ponds, and grassy meadows. The layout has eight holes routed along the seven ponds and nine holes that play through forests of beech, oak, and maple trees. There are nearly 50 sand and grass bunkers framing the mildly undulating greens, which makes proper club and shot selection the key to doing well on this course.
  • Northwest Michigan

    The most coveted vacation spot in Michigan is the northwest coast, where you'll find many of the state's highest-ranked resort golf courses as well as charming lakes and bayside towns. Much of the state's most spectacular coastline can be found in the northwest, making it an ideal summer haven for boaters and those seeking natural, freshwater beaches.

    The Natural Golf Club sits along the western shore of Otsego Lake. As its name implies, the course blends seamlessly into the beautiful surroundings. The challenging layout requires accuracy so don't let the scenery distract you too much. Trees line the meandering fairways and water hazards come into play throughout. Strategically placed bunkers lurk along the greensides as well.
    The Cedar River Course was Tom Weiskopf's first design in Michigan. It has been ranked as one of the top 100 resort golf courses in the country. The layout closely follows the natural contours of the landscape, providing a wealth of unique shot opportunities. The dramatic elevation changes define the traditional layout, which gives an excellent rhythm to the course.
    Since opening in 1994, Loon Golf Club has become one of the most popular golf courses in the Gaylord area. The Loon Course features fast, undulating greens and narrow fairways surrounded by numerous strategically placed bunkers.